Bombino Agadez

Countless mainstream artists often bombard their listeners with claims of authenticity and urban street credentials in an effort to separate their brand of music from the rest. One artist who doesn't have to succumb to this slippery slope is Omara "Bombino" Moctar. Born in a nomadic outpost near the desert town of Agadez, Niger, during a time of armed struggles (for Tuareg independence), violent government suppression, rebellion and exile, Moctar chooses to tell the world his story through beautiful, passionate, refreshing music instead. His songs capture the spirit of resistance and rebellion reminiscent of fellow Africans Tinariwen and Ali Farka Toure, as well as blues icons such as Jimi Hendrix, John Lee Hooker and Jimmy Page. Already a superstar within the Tuareg community, Bombino has caught the ears of the Rolling Stones' Keith Richards and Charlie Watts, who invited him to California in 2006 to record. Even Angelina Jolie sought out Bombino to show her around his hometown when she visited Niger years ago. The songs on Agadez are deeply personal, unique, musical accounts of his hometown in the Sahara. It is only a matter of time before Bombino gains praise and recognition internationally. (Cumbancha)